Bridgestone Puts Young Journalists on the Fast Track to Success

Brussels, Belgium (ots) - Bridgestone Europe (BSEU) is paving the way for young journalists who dream of becoming professional writers. The Bridgestone Digital Reporter is an online writing competition open to students of journalism across Europe. The contest is launched on the new European web site, in line with BSEU's communication plan. Three winners will be chosen to attend a European press event organised by Bridgestone (17-21 March 2003) in Mugello, Italy. A super winner will be selected to cover an upcoming Formula One (F1) race in Europe 2003.

"This press event is all about bringing the tyre from the track to the street, so in the same way we're bringing the concept of sports journalism from the circuit to the mainstream," says Des Collins, Vice-President, Sales & Marketing Europe. "It also proves that we care about the future of young motivated individuals in automotive journalism by putting them behind the wheel of success," he adds.

Finalists will be invited to Mugello to work alongside 80 of Europe's top automotive journalists at a press launch for BSEU's new tyre, the Potenza RE050. This ultra high-performance tyre is the direct result of combining F1 technology with manufacturer's demands. Winners will be in the hot seat, providing daily online coverage for the BSEU web site including interviews and reports. Aside from the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness car and tyre testing up close, they will also have a VIP visit of Ferrari's headquarters and a taste of the region with a scenic tour.

This unprecedented e-event will be launched in February to full-time journalism students aged 18-30 from European universities and high schools. In order for students to qualify, they must complete an online entry form by February 28th, which includes writing three texts in English on selected topics. A jury of nine people including three automotive journalists, three journalism professors and three senior members of the BSEU management will complete a three-step selection process. Winners will be contacted March 10th and results will be announced on www.bridgestone-eu.com .

"These young talents will have the opportunity to practice their craft in real time, and also see the testing of some of the sportiest and most technologically-advanced vehicles on the market," says Mr. Collins. "This is a great opportunity for any young future journalist who wants to break into the industry," he adds.

Entries will be judged on the basis of originality, creativity, novelty, power of expression and message. All contest information including results, rules, selection criteria and jury can be found in the 'Bridgestone Digital Reporter' section of the Bridgestone web site at www.bridgestone-eu.com/reporter/

Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world's largest manufacturer of tyres and other rubber products.Tyres account for 79 percent of Bridgestone Group sales worldwide. The company also manufactures industrial rubber and chemical products, sporting goods and other diversified products. It sells its tyres and other products in more than 150 nations.

Bridgestone Europe N.V./S.A. -- with European headquarters in Brussels, Belgium -- is a key division of the Bridgestone Corporation. It develops and manufactures top-quality tyres in Europe which, through its 16 subsidiary sales companies and other channels, are distributed all over Europe including the Eastern European markets. Products are also exported outside Europe, including to Japan.

Bridgestone Europe Internet: http://www.presseportal.de BRIDGESTONE EUROPE NV/SA Belgicastraat 9 1930 Zaventem, Belgium

Tel. : (32) 2 714 68 40 Fax : (32) 2 714 68 89

Contact: Bert Vanneste Company: Bridgestone Digital Reporter Phone: +32 2 714 67 55 Email: reporter@bridgestone-eu.com

Contact: Gert Meylemans Company: Bridgestone Europe Phone: + 32 2 714 68 40 Fax: + 32 2 714 68 89

Contact: Des Collins Company: Bridgestone Europe Phone: + 32 2 714 68 40 Fax: + 32 2 714 68 89